Golfers who are passionate about equipment know the name Endo, a forging house that accounts for 90 percent of forging on the professional golf tours worldwide. But what some of those golfers might not know is that on top of forging products for companies like Bridgestone, Callaway and Nike, Endo also produces its own line of equipment, called Epon.
While Epon is relatively unknown in the US, the company has a 35 percent marketshare of custom clubs sales in Japan. According to William Cho, North America distributor for Epon Golf USA, the company is taking steps to grow in the US and Canada, placing its products in the hands of certified clubfitters who are handpicked based on their expertise and geography.
Chris Darakdjian, owner of Pure Impact Golf Studio in Commerce, Mich., is one of those fitters. Darakdjian has been fitting golfers for Epon clubs for nearly two years, and has been impressed with the quality of Epon products, especially the irons.
“The tolerances are pretty much always perfect,” Darakdjian said. “Most golfers who I fit hit them longer than what they came in with.”
According to Cho, the secret of Epon golf clubs is the 40 years of experience that its parent company, Endo, has spent designing, developing and forging equipment for major OEM brands.
“Throughout the years, Endo has accumulated so much information and knowledge on club design and manufacturing,” Cho said. “Endo is the only manufacturer in the world with their level of technology, design, and R&D team to truly develop and create a product from beginning to end — raw material selection to retail sales.”
That control gives Epon the ability to forge complex iron head shapes that other companies are forced to cast, according to Cho, creating products that have a much better feel. The company also uses a special robot laser welding process on its more forgiving iron models that Cho says creates club faces with 0.83 COR, the maximum allowed by golf’s ruling bodies.
For Darakdjian, this has resulted in higher ball speeds and higher smash factors during fittings, which has translated to longer distance. All this technology and attention to detail comes at a price, however. While Epon does not provide specific pricing for its products, sets usually cost $2000 or more when puchased from an Epon Certified Club Fitter.
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